we are one, we are two
we are everyone (two three

three friends in winter
coming off the evening boat
three bianca roses
and the sine curve of Aphrodite
along the seawall
three flowers walking
on the beach like a movie
they pass through Nunzio’s gate
its lantern begs a little of their
three white roses in winter
lighting the waterfront
drinking up sadness
turning the world around
amphissa the long stems say
elicio and ziph
nothing but fizz in their zeros
cherifa – vindelicia – lunel
I am your fan, your white-faced clown
I lose my suffix to you

Michele Leggott has published four books of poetry, the latest As far as I can see (Auckland University Press, 1999). Co-editor of Big Smoke (Auckland University Press, 2000) with Alan Brunton and Murray Edmond, editor of Robin Hyde’s long poem The Book of Nadath (Auckland University Press, 1999). A recent major project was the establishment in 2001 of the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) at the University of Auckland. www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz


Leggott comments: This is a still from Sally Rodwell’s 1998 film Heaven’s Cloudy Smile, which follows two poets through a sequence of landscapes in Auckland and Wellington. The poets are Alan Brunton and myself. Some of Alan’s script turned up as the poem ‘Movie’ in his book Ecstasy and then in Best New Zealand Poems 2001; he described it there as a ‘death-trip.’ My script traced a descent through seven gates, of which this is one. Sally has made the Devonport waterfront look like the Bay of Naples in another century, helped along by Nunzio Arabito’s beautiful wrought ironwork. Mr Arabito came to New Zealand from Egypt in 1964 and set up a foundry in Devonport. He and Mrs Arabito lived near the waterfront for many years and kept doves that were released morning and evening to circle over the neighbourhood, a choreography of wings on an invisible string.

Alan Brunton died in Amsterdam in June last year while he and Sally were touring Grooves of Glory and Zarathustra Said with their theatre troupe Red Mole. I took a notice to the papers and stopped at the flower shop in Queen’s Arcade on the way home. There were three white roses left.



          dear Alan the night
          the gluons went out
          you would have played
          in Amsterdam
          the candles blazed
          the saxophone climbed
          the words found you
          and the wine was drained
          to the last red drop

          go now, hero
          of the poets’ tribe
          and soul doctor number one
          the next world lies open to you
          a lily bud on a stick
          dreaming its thousand petals
          the moment of your going out
          is the moment of your coming in
          the grooves, babe
          the grooves of Glory Be

Poem source details >



Read Alan Brunton's poem 'Movie' in Best New Zealand Poems 2001
‘When you give so much’: some recollections of Alan Brunton
Auckland University Press – As far as I can see